Negotiating to the death

During a nine-hour meeting Wednesday between Israeli and Palestinian chief negotiators Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erekat, the atmosphere turned so ugly that U.S. Special Envoy Martin Indyk had to intervene. Apparently, even Livni — who is almost as obsessed as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with the pointless process — lost her cool.

And it’s no wonder. Erekat shouted at her that he doesn’t work for the Israelis. “We’ll see you in court at The Hague,” he threatened.

This was a major slap in Livni’s face, since she has been doing her best to work for the Palestinians. So she also issued an ultimatum. Hers was that if the Palestinians did not start playing fairly, there would be a breakdown in negotiations. As though this would be some kind of penalty to a party that has no interest in peace talks, let alone in the concept of independent statehood alongside Israel. Destroying the Jewish state that it refuses to recognize is still its ultimate goal.

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall during that exchange. Watching Indyk rush in to soothe tempers and prevent Erekat from storming off and putting the final nail in the coffin of Kerry’s Nobel Peace Prize would have made for great comedy. But tragedy is never far behind, as is evident in Kerry’s attitude and Palestinian behavior.

While the secretary of state was expressing his frustration with “both sides” for not being able to reach an agreement, and calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to exhibit “leadership,” Abbas was busy seeking membership in U.N. bodies.

Abbas seems to be the only player fully aware that neither Kerry’s efforts nor Netanyahu’s concessions have been part of an actual negotiation towards “two states for two peoples.” He knows it has all been for the purpose of persuading him to agree just to come to the proverbial table. Milking this for all it is worth, he keeps upping the ante.

This is why Netanyahu announced that the fourth batch of prisoner releases (a euphemism for the freeing of bloodthirsty terrorists from Israeli jails) would not go through as scheduled. Since the first three releases only served to strengthen Palestinian intransigence and endanger Israeli civilians, it would have been political suicide for Netanyahu to execute another one.


I am paying more for everything these days and this is brought home to me every time I go to the supermarket and contemplate buying anything from an avocado to a London broil. I can’t imagine what it must be like to feed a family with two or three children.

I never imagined living in a nation where an 18-year-old girl would move out of her parent’s home and then sue them to pay for her college tuition and other support. A judge put an end to that nonsense.

I often feel like I am drowning in nonsense. I delete upwards of eighty emails I receive every day because they tell me that I am going to receive millions of dollars from people I do not know, offer dubious business propositions, loans, or they are from companies in foreign countries whose language I neither read, nor speak.

The news media deluged me with constant speculation and rumor about a missing Malaysian jet liner that is likely at the bottom of the Indian ocean and not likely to be found for years, if ever. I feel sorry for the passengers, but this occurred while Russia’s Putin was breaking a whole bunch of treaties to reclaim Crimea.

What the media has not told you is that the Ukraine has been run by a seriously corrupt group of people who routinely plundered it and that, in taking over the Crimea, Putin has taken on a new financial burden and a region that receives its power from the Ukraine. So, while he has secured control of the Russian naval ports and some military installations, he has also added to Russia’s cost of operation when its economy is not that strong to begin with. The likelihood that he would invade Lithuania, Estonia, and Moldova is small and, in fact, he has spurred a sleepy NATO and European Union to gear up militarily.

The same media has managed to largely ignore the lies the President and his former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, told about the killing of a U.S. ambassador and three security personnel in Benghazi, Libya. It has largely ignored the corruption of the Internal Revenue Service by politicizing it into an instrument to deter Tea Party and patriot groups from being granted the same non-profit status that liberal groups routinely receive. There were other scandals such as Fast and Furious in which guns were provided to Mexican drug cartels that then were used to kill a U.S. Border Patrol agent and countless Mexicans.


The Obama Environmental Protection Agency recently slashed the maximum allowable sulfur content in gasoline from 30 parts per million to 10 ppm. The agency claims its new “Tier 3” rule will bring $7 billion to $19 billion in annual health benefits by 2030. “These standards are a win for public health, a win for our environment and a win for our pocketbooks,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy insists.

It’s all hokum. Like all too many rules emanating from EPA these days, the gasoline regulations are a case study in how America’s economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare are being pummeled by secretive, deceptive, and indeed fraudulent and corrupt government practices.

Since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, America’s cars have eliminated some 99% of pollutants that once came out of tailpipes, notes air quality expert Joel Schwartz. Since 2004, under Tier 2 rules, refiners have reduced sulfur in gasoline from an average of 300 ppm to 30 ppm – a 90% drop, on top of pre-2004 reductions. In addition, because newer cars start out cleaner and stay cleaner throughout their lives, fleet turnover is reducing emissions by 8 to10 percent per year, steadily improving air quality.

The net result, says a 2012 Environ International study, is that ground-level ozone concentrations will fall even more dramatically by 2022. Volatile organic pollutants will plummet by 62%, carbon monoxide by 51% and nitrous oxides by 80% – beyond reductions already achieved between 1970 and 2004.

EPA (which once promised to be ultra-transparent) claims its rules will add less than a penny per gallon to gasoline prices; but it won’t say how it arrived at that estimate. Industry sources say the Tier 3 rules will require $10 billion in upfront capital expenditures, an additional $2.4 billion in annual compliance expenses, significant increases in refinery energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, an extra 5-9 cents per gallon in manufacturing costs, which will certainly hit consumers at the pump.

But regardless of their ultimate cost, the rules will reduce monthly ozone levels by just 1.2 parts per billion during rush hour, says Environ. That’s equivalent to 12 cents out of $100 million or 1.2 seconds out of 32,000 years. These minuscule improvements could not even have been measured by equipment existing a couple decades ago. Their contribution to improved human health will be essentially zero.

Syracuse Islamic Group Gets OK to Strip Empty Catholic Church of its Crosses and Turn it Into a Mosque Carol Kuruvila
The North Side Learning Center is planning to rent out the former Holy Trinity Catholic Church as a mosque. Since Islam prohibits followers from worshipping idols or symbols, the crosses that were placed on the church’s steeples will be removed.

A Muslim group received approval on Thursday from Syracuse city officials to remove six crosses from a century-old Catholic church that is being turned into a mosque.

Syracuse’s Landmark Preservation Board approved the North Side Learning Center’s request to make changes to the architecture of the former Holy Trinity Catholic Church — but not before it drew the ire of several residents.

More than 200 people signed an online petition asking the board to stop the group from taking down the Christian symbols and installing a 6-foot chain-link fence, citing the building’s history.

Donald Law, whose great-great-grandfather helped build the church after immigrating from Germany, was upset about the decision.


The Moslem Brotherhood’s Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has unleashed a sustained assault on the Republican Party regarding curbing Republican activities in educating Americans in the arena of American politics. This action is consistent with the Moslem Brotherhood’s efforts to suppress the First Amendment rights of free speech, the freedom to speak, and the freedom for others to hear.

The GOP must ignore these bullying jihadi (the holy war against our Constitution) attempts at intimidation aimed at silencing (killing the messengers) America’s important Republican organizations. This is what a patriotic, Constitution supporting organization must do – work tirelessly to protect the Constitution of the United States from all enemies both DOMESTIC and foreign. CAIR is a domestic enemy created by Hamas terrorists (three of five of the CAIR founders have been imprisoned and/or deported based on terrorism convictions)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has identified CAIR as a criminal enterprise and has ceased participating in many activities with CAIR. CAIR is not much different than the Mafia. [A book, MOSLEM MAFIA, goes into great detail about CAIR’s criminal activities.]

CAIR is an unindicted (meaning there was not sufficient evidence to lead to a conviction) co-conspirator in the Holy Land Trial where CAIR played a lead role in raising funds, laundering the money, and transferring that money by illegal means to Palestinian terrorist groups. CAIR was founded by Islamist Palestinians using money provided to them by covert (illegal) means. Of the five founders of CAIR, three have been sent to prison on terrorist convictions and/or have been deported from the United States.

CAIR is one of many front organizations operating under the control of the Moslem Brotherhood whose chief objective is to replace our Constitution with Islamic Sharia law (and to turn us into a Moslem governed nation such as Pakistan, Gaza, Egypt, etc., where misery, poverty, fear, and hatred rule.) Chief among the objectives of these domestic enemies is to undermine and to cancel out the First Amendment to the Constitution – freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

Within the American Moslem community, CAIR has notoriously taught Moslems to NOT cooperate with any elements of US law enforcement without a representative of CAIR present to lie for them, etc.

Political discourse is essential to our liberty and the GOP has a long, successful history of playing a major leading role in American politics and should not be silenced by any organization for any reason.

It is imperative that the GOP and all of its affiliates avoid falling for this jihadi operation utilizing these tactics of CAIR (and others) to compel the GOP to become submissive servants of the colonizers (Islam) regarding disseminating truths and facts about political Islam. Political Islam is the most significant existential threat to the USA.

Deportation Is Up, or Down It Depends on What You Mean by “Deportation.” By Mark Krikorian

It’s not often you get a public official to speak this frankly: “If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero.” That was John Sandweg, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement until a few weeks ago, speaking to the Los Angeles Times earlier this week.

His observation helps explain the apparent conflict between the deportation claims of the Obama administration and those of its critics. In a nutshell, immigration officials have been ordered to essentially ignore illegal aliens in the interior of the country (whose removal is what people think of when they hear “deportations”) and instead are increasingly counting as deportations the return of people arrested at the border.

This strategy was driven by the need to claim “record deportations” as proof of the administration’s bona fides regarding enforcement while at the same time disturbing the illegal-alien population as little as possible. Such a claim is seen as imperative to getting an omnibus amnesty-plus-more-immigration bill past skeptics in Congress.

Ironically, the very open-borders forces pushing that amnesty have taken the administration press releases at face value and are now rebelling. Obama has been attacked as the deporter-in-chief, and the coalition demanding a halt to all deportations plans nationwide protests tomorrow marking what they estimate to be the 2 millionth deportation under his administration.

However, as my colleague Jessica Vaughan first reported a year ago, deportations resulting from interior enforcement (as opposed to border arrests) declined some 40 percent over the past two years. More than half the deportations in 2012 came from Border Patrol arrests.

Dems’ Voter-Fraud Denial How do you Address a Problem They Insist Doesn’t Exist? By John Fund

The spin doctors who deny the existence of voter fraud have no boundaries.

“Plans to fight voter fraud are based on nightmares, tall tales, and paranoid fears,” says Scott Keyes of the liberal Center for American Progress. Voter fraud is so rare “you’re more likely to get hit by lightning than find a case of prosecutorial voter fraud,” asserts Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of the liberal Advancement Project.

Kim Strach, the new director of North Carolina’s Board of Elections, disagrees. She just searched a database that comprises about half the registered voters in the U.S. and found 35,750 voters in her state whose first and last names and full date of birth match with someone in another state who also voted in the 2012 election. A smaller number (765) had exact matches on Social Security numbers, but that total is artificially low because only some states provide that number for any or all of their voters.

Remember: In 2008, Barack Obama only carried North Carolina by 14,177 votes out of 2.3 million cast.

Strach is turning over her findings to the state legislature along with recommendations on what laws would help clean up the rolls.

Nor is North Carolina the only state with voter fraud in the news. Cobby Williams, a former 2012 independent congressional candidate in Mississippi, was sentenced to five years in prison this week for knowingly registering a convicted felon.

Last month, police in Pontiac, Mich., found the mummified body of Pia Farrenkopf in the garage of her foreclosed home. She had apparently been dead since 2008, but was listed as having voted in the 2010 election for governor.

Texas Democratic state representative Lon Burnam filed suit in March claiming he was defeated by 111 votes in his Democratic primary because of an illegal vote-by-mail operation, which might have been orchestrated by his opponent.

Obama’s Stand-up Routine Is Laughable Indeed -Too Bad the Joke is on His Youthful Audience. By Jonah Goldberg

President Obama was doing his favorite thing this week: talking to crowds of adoring young people who already agree with him while acting like he persuaded them about something.

They also seemed to give Obama the impression that he’s a really funny guy. On Wednesday, he told a crowd of 1,400 at the University of Michigan that he visited a local deli, Zingerman’s. He proceeded to tell a long story about ordering the small Reuben sandwich, which he said was “killer.” That description got a good laugh. Then he explained how he thought the sandwich was too big, so he shared it with his adviser, Valerie Jarrett.

“After I finished [my] half, I wanted [her] half back,” Obama said. “But it was too late, all she had was the pickle – so I took the pickle.”

“Took the pickle” was a huge laugh line.

Pickle is a funny word, but still; when an audience thinks this is a knee-slapper, you know it’s not a rough crowd.

But Obama had a serious point to make as well. Zingerman’s “is a business that treats its workers well and rewards honest work with honest wages. And that’s what I’m here to talk about today.” He then segued into a pitch for raising the minimum wage.

National Review’s Andrew Johnson noted that Zingerman’s is pretty expensive. That small Reuben cost $13.99 – pickle included! (Thank you! I’m here all week. Please tip your servers.) The large goes for nearly $17. The irony might have been lost on the president that Zingerman’s “honest wages” also lead to high prices.


A “small group of angry white liberals” are attempting to ban Condoleezza Rice, the first African-American woman to be Secretary of State, from speaking at the University of Minnesota on April 17 – this, according to an article in the Daily Caller on March 29th. The group is led by a math teacher named William Messing and a graduate student named Nick Theis who is a member of the ill-named Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), with assistance from the University of Minnesota’s chapter of the SDS. Messing introduced a resolution in the school’s University Senate that calls on the administration to rescind the invitation. In an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Mr. Theis wrote that his objection had nothing to do with party politics or freedom of speech, but was “simply an issue of human rights.” Yeah! Right!

Unfortunately this attempt to muzzle conservatives is not unique to Minnesota. The faculty at Rutgers University has opposed Ms. Rice as this spring’s commencement speaker. She “lacks moral authority” and fails to meet the standards of “exemplary citizenship,” according to the faculty’s statement. The attempt to silence the Right is not unique to Ms. Rice. Neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, who spent 30 years at Johns Hopkins Hospital and was emeritus fellow of the Yale Corporation, was banned from speaking at last year’s Hopkins’ graduation ceremony by an on-line petition from “liberal” students.

Black pastor Reverend Kevin Johnson of the Bright Hope Baptist Church in North Philadelphia was supposed to be the commencement speaker at his alma mater, Morehouse College. But when he wrote an op-ed criticizing President Obama for “failing the Black community” he was disinvited. Sandor Farkas is one of two students at Dartmouth (both registered Independents) who were banned from a campus activists’ strategy meeting as to how the college should honor Martin Luther King Day. Mr. Farkas’ comment: “What I am really frustrated at is that we can’t have reasonable discussions about these issues.”

Honor Diaries: Silencing Speaks Volumes- Islamists Aim to Shut Down a Documentary by Muslims About Honor Violence. By Qanta Ahmed M.D.

Qanta Ahmed, M.D., is a member of the board of directors of Women’s Voices Now and the author of In the Land of Invisible Women, an account of her experiences as a physician in Saudi Arabia.

Victims of honor crimes are silenced. Victims of honor crimes are shamed. Victims of honor crimes are made pariahs. And, often, victims of honor crimes are extinguished. This week, Honor Diaries, a documentary focusing on the global manifestations of honor violence, was itself silenced, when two American universities — the University of Michigan at Dearborn and the University of Illinois in Chicago — canceled planned screenings. With this act of censorship, the movie has become a metaphor for its message. Just like the women and girls it portrays, the movie has been silenced and its progenitors shamed.

While honor crimes take place in many cultures, they are most prevalent today in the Muslim-majority world and increasingly in Muslim diaspora communities settled in the West. Our movie examines the work of nine women activists, many of them Muslim, in defending and rescuing these victims.

As an observant Muslim who has lived in Saudi Arabia, the center of the Muslim-majority world, as a woman of Pakistani heritage, and as a female physician who has identified and reported both adult and child victims of abuse, I contributed to the expert commentary in Honor Diaries, and did so willingly without compensation of any form. I did so in accordance with my values as a Muslim: We are mandated by Islam to expose any injustice, including among our own.